KLCI falls 0.3%, Asian markets lower on global growth pessimism

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 13): The FBM KLCI fell 5.17 points or 0.3%, tracking Asian markets on investor pessimism towards world economic growth prospects.

At 12.30pm, the KLCI settled at 1,803.71 on losses in stocks like Petronas Gas Bhd and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK). Last Friday, the KLCI fell 20.85 points or 1.14% to finish at 1,808.88.

Today, analysts said pessimism towards world economic growth prospects could prolong the correction in Malaysian stocks.

"Given the increased bearish sentiment sparked by global growth worries amid weakening economic prospects in the Eurozone and elsewhere, there could be extended correction this coming week.

"However, oversold technical conditions may trigger an oversold bounce, which must be followed by stronger buying momentum to sustain,"  TA Securities Holdings Bhd wrote in a note today.

Across Bursa Malaysia, some 873 million shares worth RM761 million changed hands. There were 118 gainers versus 672 decliners.

The top gainer was Malaysia Building Society Bhd while leading decliners included Petronas Gas and KLK.

The most-active stock was DGB Asia Bhd.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.64% while South Korea's Kospi declined 0.73%. Japan markets are closed for a holiday today.

Reuters reported that Asian stocks stumbled to seven-month lows on Monday, while crude oil prices were pinned near a four-year trough as promising trade numbers out of China failed to cheer a market still worried about faltering global growth.

The declines in Asian markets came after U.S. stocks skidded 1.2 percent on Friday and Wall Street's fear gauge, the CBOE Volatility Index, jumped to a near two-year high.

Investors have been cutting back on risk assets in earnest with Europe staring at the prospects of a recession, Japan's economy floundering, China's expansion slowing and the Federal Reserve on track to end its bond-buying stimulus soon.